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Dr. Digital: Video Green Screen

If you are binge-watching the latest Star Wars miniseries, have sat on the edge of your seat while Marvel superheroes battled across the multiverse, or just regularly catch the nightly weather report on television, you’re already familiar with video green screen. The idea behind this film and video innovation, chroma-key technology, has been around since before Douglas Fairbanks starred in The Thief of Bagdad back in 1924.

And while video green screen has been around for more than a century, it has never been easier, more powerful, or more cost-effective to use. Green screen lets you get a lot more mileage out of your production budget, slashes on-location film time, and gives you practically unlimited creative license.

What is video green screen?

About as straightforward as it sounds, video green screen is just that: a backdrop of solid green that video teams can use to add dazzling, transportive post-production elements and effects.

Green Screen Advantages

  • Reduce video production cost
  • Saves time vs. on-location filming
  • Exponentially increases creative freedom

How does video green screen work?

It’s not magic, but it can sure look like it for anyone watching your next video. First, you need to film your actors in front of the green screen itself. Then, it’s possible to digitally remove—or in video tech-speak, “key out”—that color from the background before dropping in the digital location image of your choice. It could be Highwood, Hawaii, or the Himalayas. Green is the preferred color for this process because it doesn’t match any natural skin tones (unless you happen to be a Muppet).

Is it really that easy being green?

In expert hands, the impact of green screen can be amazing. It’s worth noting that today’s hobbyist video marketplace is loaded with comparatively low-priced kits that claim to make green screen capability accessible for all. And if you are flying a toy spaceship across an image captured from the James Webb space telescope, that probably will look cool.

But if you are looking for real, believable impact when using green screen, it’s a tech best trusted to the pros. There are many aspects to take into consideration, from proper lighting to ensuring sufficient space between the screen and subject to create a realistic perspective. And remember, anything filmed that’s close to that green will digitally disappear in the edit. There have been some wacky wardrobe phenomena when someone on screen happens to be sporting a matching shade.

Street Level Studios are pros at going green (screen).

The intro by Dr. Digital gave you a taste of video green screen in action. If you’re ready for a closer look at what the Street Level Studios video team has done and can do with video green screen, it’s time to get in touch.

Let’s talk ›

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